Consumer research suggests mobile shoppers prefer mobile websites to retail apps.
But if you've invested in a companion app and wish to use your mobile home page to promote it, be careful about how you pitch your app -- you may unwittingly foster FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about your mobile experience.
Karmaloop's (old) mobile home page suggests its mobile site is inferior to its app with the text "for the best mobile experience, we suggest using our app," and the "shop our mobile site" button styled less prominently, almost blurring with the background. #badkarma
Thankfully Karmaloop has abandoned this tactic, eliminating the friction of the splash page by sending visitors directly to the mobile site, showing an OS-specific app banner which appears only after the visitor begins to scroll, and is easy to close or ignore. #goodkarma
1-800-Contacts' splash page attempts to persuade visitors to download its app with free shipping "always, always, always." Does this mean web orders pay for shipping? #FUD
"No thanks, take me to the mobile site instead" is a defeating call-to-action, topped only by 1-800-Flowers' "No thanks, I'd rather pay full price."
Mobile conversion begins with keeping visitors on your site. Don't encourage home page bounces by presenting mobile apps as a better experience, suggesting app users get better prices and promotions, or using negative language in your call-to-action labels.